Monday, January 21, 2008

MediaPortal v. and software upgrading to fix problems

See a previous post from when I upgraded my PVR machine to v.

I've often been annoyed when people imagine that upgrading a piece of software is a suitable way to address a problem. Surely the best thing would be to find out what the real trouble is and sort it out rather than upgrading to a newer release in the hope that the trouble will just go away. Ten years ago when Avid v.7 was current being frustrated on many occasions by their tech support who would refuse to answer any questions until you'd upgraded to that week's point release version. See some more moaning about the state of software here. By contrast Lightworks always stood by previous versions of software. I can remember calling up with a problem on a v.2 Heavyworks when the current version was six! They had the attitude that version two worked (why would we have released if it didn't?!) and they were happy to support it.

Anyhow - getting back to MediaPortal - I should have followed my own advice! For the last month my install has been getting a bit slow and flakey. Given it's been running for nearly a year with only a couple of re-boots and maybe three defrags of the media drive I suppose I should have spent a bit more time tidying it up. Anyhow - excited by the shiny new version I backed-up my install, ran the uninstaller and then downloaded and installed the current release. I suppose my 2.0 Ghz Athlon board is getting a bit long in the tooth and the current release felt no more zippy or usable. So - back to v and the mere act of uninstalling and re-loading made a work of difference. We're back to a fast, responsive PVR again. That version does everything I need and so we're happy again.
As an aside - surely it's possible for new versions to run better on aging hardware? Don't programmers learn new tricks about getting more from the platform? This seems to be the case with Leopard which runs a lot better on my G4 than Tiger did. Also - the very best games on any given console are the ones that come out towards the end of the machine's commercial life.

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